Velociraptor, in real life, was a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period which inhabited what is now the Mongolia-China border with other unique dinosaurs. Velociraptor was no bigger than a wolf and with its feathers it bore a very bird-like appearance that would make it all the more different from the films, being more akin to a flightless hawk. It had a long claw ("terrible claw") on the second toe of both feet, 8 centimeters (3 inches) long, which was probably used as a weapon, plunging into the flesh of victims and causing deep wounds. Velociraptor was the first dromaeosaurid to be discovered (1923) and is still the most well known to paleontologists, with over a dozen recovered fossil skeletons - the most of any other member of its family. Since its appearance in the first film, it has become a symbol of Jurassic Park and has appeared in all the films and games.
In the Jurassic Park universe, the term "Velociraptor" is applied to the genus of another dromaeosaurid dinosaur known as Deinonychus. The films, like the novels, followed the unusual taxonomy created by Gregory S. Paul, who believed that Deinonychus, as well as a few other species of dromaeosaurids, could be classified under the genus "Velociraptor". As for the large size of the raptors, the novel raptors were sized up for an unknown reason by author Michael Crichton while the movie raptors were made larger per Steven Spielberg's request to him being unimpressed by the size of Deinonychus.
Velociraptor is one of the most popular dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park movie media. The Velociraptor featured in the films aren't the actual animal, but rather appear to be their own separate species judging by the Holoscape. Velociraptors have a major role in all five movies. Before the Jurassic Park movie aired, most people had never heard of raptors.
Velociraptors are often seen hunting in packs, which it may have done in real life. They are portrayed as being highly intelligent and capable of setting traps and communicating with other pack members. Because of this, the main paleontologist of the franchise, Dr. Alan Grant, is very interested in the raptors.
Velociraptor is the first dinosaur seen in Jurassic Park. The first scene features a raptor being transported into the paddock. In the second half of the movie, the raptors break out of their pen and are the main threat that stands between the humans and their means of escaping the island.
In the second movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, a Velociraptor pack inhabits the abandoned Village on Isla Sorna. The humans, who are stranded on the island, have to run and fight their way through the raptors to reach the phone in the village and reach the helicopter. Nearly all of the Velociraptors (save for one) in this film are more brightly coloured compared to the completely brown raptors in the first film. This is never explained in the film itself, but behind the scenes material has stated that the colored raptors were the males of the species.
In Jurassic Park III, the raptors have more colour schemes. The upper half of their bodies are colored purple with stripes of other colors. The males of these raptors had quills on the top of their heads. In general they had crests with more elongated and pointed skulls. The raptors are stalking the humans to retrieve stolen eggs.
In Jurassic World, a pack of Velociraptors each with their own names, Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo, are trained by Owen Grady. These raptors each have their unique personalities and skin colors and even head anatomy. InGen, the company that cloned the dinosaurs, wants to use the raptors for military applications. The raptors are used to hunt down the Indominus rex. These raptors show a lot more variation in coloration between individuals. This is also the first time raptors developed a personal bond with humans.
Blue the raptor returns in the film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, making her the first returning Velociraptor character. Early in the story, her life is in danger from the impending eruption of Mount Sibo. She is ultimately apprehended by mercenaries under the employ of the Lockwood estate who require Blue's DNA for a new genetically modified hybrid, the Indoraptor.
The museum at Lockwood Manor contains a life-size diorama of a confrontation between a statue Velociraptor and a statue Dilophosaurus. The statue raptor is similar to the male raptors in The Lost World: Jurassic Park in terms of design and color.
The raptors appeared near the end of Jurassic Park: River Adventure, where they are shown to have recently escaped, and are now tearing up the area. During Universal's Annual Halloween Horror Nights which took place at Islands of Adventure for the first time in 2002, the Jurassic Park island became JP: Extinction, and of course, with all the dinosaurs unleashed out of their paddocks, there were several scare-actors dressed up as raptors, hiding in the bushes, waiting to scare the unsuspecting tourists.
- The Internet meme "Philosoraptor" is a satirical representation of the Velociraptor and their implied intelligence
- The Velociraptor in the Dangerous Games adapted feathers.
- Kelly, Oscar, Muldoon (Novel), Dr. Grant (Novel), The Tyrannosaurus Rex and an unseen InGen Security Trooper are the only characters in the whole franchise who succeeded in killing a Velociraptor (besides characters in video games).
- Despite being found in North America in the film canon, Velociraptor bones have so far never been found outside of Asia.
- Paul, Gregory S. (1988). Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 464pp. ISBN 978-0671619466.
- Bakker, Robert T. (1995) Raptor Red, p. 4. (Google Books) Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books/about/Raptor_Red.html?id=6LSERLP3BFsC&source=kp_cover
- One of the raptors seen in the attack on the Village has a different colored skin than the other two raptors. This was done intentionally as one of the animatronics created for the film bore an identical skin color.
- The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park by Don Shay and Jody Duncan, p. 47
- (July 18, 2001) Dino Might. Entertainment Weekly.
- Desowitz, Bill. (June 28, 2015) A Breed Above. Animation Magazine.
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